Sam Cooke, Still Bringing It On Home

Tomorrow, January 22, would have been R&B singer Sam Cooke's 80th birthday. No doubt he would be celebrating with a massive, star-drenched party with plenty of music and fanfare, and Beyonce Knowles sitting on his lap if he was lucky and Jay-Z was cool with it.

Cooke died on December 11, 1964, under circumstances that almost define shady: A hooker, $3,000 missing and a seedy $3/night motel with Cooke lying dead in his room, shot in the chest wearing only a sport coat and shoes.

Reports are conflicting, with some saying that he was an unlucky john, while others claim he was targeted by a con artist - or even worse, he had tried to rape the woman in the room with him. He was shot by the manager of the motel in what was ruled as self-defense.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty